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South Beach Diet becomes 'supercharged'

July 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Five years ago, "The South Beach Diet" was flying off book shelves because of its common sense approach. Now the program claims to be supercharged. What does that mean?"I had no intentions of trying to lose weight but I said to myself, 'Well, I'll just browse through the diet books to pass the time,'" said Teresa Williams.

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Teresa Williams was pleasantly surprised to find "The South Beach Diet."

"You can eat regular foods that taste good," said Williams. So good, she lost 160 pounds. "You eat breads you eat pasta, you can eat pizza -- it's just with whole wheat and whole grains."

"When you're eating the right foods, you lose your cravings and portion control generally takes care of itself," said Dr. Arthur Agatston.

Author of "The South Beach Diet," Dr. Arthur Agatston isn't a diet guru, but rather a cardiologist who designed a meal plan to help save lives.

What's new with the South Beach Diet is the exercise prescription. Movement has always been part of the program but it's the way that you workout that fire's up your fat-burning furnace.

"I like the fact that my heart rate went up really high and then it slowed back down, that actually helped me lose more weight," said Williams.

Research shows interval training helps break the dreaded weight plateau common in dieting. Cycling short bouts of high intensity cardio followed by cycles of lower intensity, alternating days performing simple exercises that strengthen core muscles.

"You can burn more calories in less time, more fat and the time would go quickly," said Dr. Agatston.

Food-wise, it's a three-phase meal program. Initially eliminating starches and sugars, eating lean protein and vegetables. Phase two re-introduces whole-grain starch and real fruit, and by phase three:

"There are no absolute restrictions, but you've learned the pecking order -- sweet potato over white potato, brown rice instead of white rice," said Dr. Agatston.

Five years later and going strong, the South Beach motto remains ...

"This is a lifestyle, not a diet," said Dr. Agatston. "It really replicates in a sense the way we were designed to live."

 

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